The Reviews are in for Apple's "New iPad"
March 14, 2012 9:26 PM
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Apple has another solid hit with the "New iPad"
Apple's "New iPad" was
announced last week to much fanfare in San Francisco
. As is usually the case with new iPad or iPhone releases,
launch day pre-orders sold out quickly
and those who were late to get their orders in could end up waiting for a few weeks to get their hands on one.
As a refresher, an Apple A5X processor that has seen its onboard RAM double from 512MB to 1GB powers the new iPad. The A5X is also blessed with a quad-core GPU which boosts gaming performance and helps feed the new iPad's biggest new feature: a 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display. Other niceties include a 5MP rear-facing camera, and optional LTE connectivity.
On the negative side, the weight and thickness of the iPad has grown to accommodate a new 42.5 watt-hour battery (the iPad 2 had a 25 watt-hour battery). In addition, Apple is once again being stingy with storage capacities on the iPad. Even though app sizes are
doubling or even tripling in some cases
due to Retina support, Apple is holding firm with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities -- the same lineup as when the first generation iPad launched in 2010.
Tonight, however, we're getting our first look at what the new iPad can do courtesy of a flood of reviews. Here are some select excerpts from the reviews that are currently available:
Joshua Topolsky of
gives his thoughts on the iPad 3's gorgeous new Retina display:
Yes, this display is outrageous. It's stunning. It's incredible. I'm not being hyperbolic or exaggerative when I say it is easily the most beautiful computer display I have ever looked at…
You literally can't see pixels on the iPad's display when you hold it at a regular distance, and even up close you have to really inspect the thing to see dots. For rendered text or high resolution images, it just looks otherworldly; like a glowing piece of paper.
The difference between the iPad 2's display and the new iPad's Retina display [Source: The Verge]
Walt Mossberg of
fame touched on the battery life of the new iPad. While it's not quite the power-sipper as its predecessor, it still posts some impressive numbers.
Apple claims up to 10 hours of battery life between charges, and up to nine hours if you are relying strictly on cellular connectivity. In my standard battery test, where I play videos back to back with both cellular and Wi-Fi on, and the screen at 75% brightness, the new iPad logged 9 hours and 58 minutes, compared with 10 hours and 9 minutes for the iPad 2. Other tablets died hours sooner in the same test. In more normal use, the new iPad lasted more than a full day, though not as long as the iPad 2 did.
The original iPad didn't have any cameras at all, while the iPad 2 came with a standard front-facing camera for FaceTime and an incredibly subpar rear-facing camera for pictures and 720p video. The new iPad can now features a 5MP camera and bumps video recording up to 1080p. Vincent Nguyen of
gives his thoughts on the new optics:
Apple says it has borrowed the camera technology and optics from the iPhone 4S for the new iPad, though still the 5-megapixel images the tablet is capable of do lag behind the 8-megapixel examples from the smartphone. There’s more visible noise and chromatic aberrations at full zoom, though the quality is far, far better than any stills the iPad 2 can achieve. You also get face recognition for up to ten people per frame, automatically adjusting focus and exposure, but the camera app UI itself is no more complex than before.
While the actual CPU hasn't improved much over the iPad 2, the integrated GPU has definitely been turbocharged, as witnessed by Jason Snell of
That power comes from the X factor in the A5X processor—a new quad-core graphics engine. And sure enough, the third-generation iPad blows away every other iOS device in terms of graphics performance. In our tests using the GLBench 3D graphics testing app, the third-generation iPad could draw a complex 3D scene at the full frame rate of its display, 60 frames per second, without breaking a sweat. And in GLBench offscreen tests, which aren’t constrained by the display’s frame rate, the third-generation iPad had a frame rate 1.6 times that of the iPad 2 (and 13 times that of the original iPad).
Overall, the new iPad seems to be another solid entry into the tablet field for Apple. It holds the line on CPU performance and battery life (at the expense of device thickness and weight) while offering an impressive Retina display, optional LTE, and a tremendous boost in graphics performance. Pricing remains the same as previous iPad model ($499/$599/$699 for Wi-Fi; add $130 for LTE models), but Apple still doesn't have the guts to give users an increase in storage capacities.
To sum things up, Joshua Topolsky offers these words of advice:
Let's be clear: the new iPad is in a class by itself, just as its predecessor was. As the latest product in a lineage of devices that defined this category, the iPad continues to stand head and shoulders above the competition. With the addition of the Retina display, LTE, more memory, and a more powerful CPU, Apple has absolutely held onto the iPad's market position as the dominant player and product to beat.
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RE: Preempting Android fan responses
3/15/2012 4:13:21 AM
have you used iPad? it's soooo much more responsive you are the one who is delusional.
Yep, have one 2 feet from me currently. My wife uses it on a daily basis, and I have more than enough screen time with it.
It's not more responsive than my Prime, not by a long shot, especially in things like Sketchbook Pro, etc.
Tegra 3's touch processing is just that, actual hardware driven, fully dedicated on SoC touch processing at nominal power usage. The iPad doesn't have that (until they copy it off nVidia and claim they invent it that is...)
So, no, it's not more responsive. Please stop spreading lies, thanks! Apple doesn't shit rainbows and unicorns, nor does Google. Ice Cream Sandwich is more modern than iOS. iOS has more apps. At the end of the day, it comes down to the user's experience with the device; Apple delivers a good one, as does Samsung as does ASUS.
All this idiocy is getting really old. My ASUS Transformer Prime is as good as your iPad 2/3. Ok? It's AS GOOD AS IT. Your Apple product isn't lesser than mine nor is it better. Don't degrade my product in an effort to make you feel better about your $499 spent. My Prime does what I want and what I need of it, and it does it in a sleek, seamless manner which I prefer. If your iPad 3 does the same for you, more power to you buddy! Just SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT TO ME. That's all I think really needs to stop happening here; Apple users are snobs and Android users have nerdgasms. Knock it off...
RE: Preempting Android fan responses
3/15/2012 5:01:26 AM
True nerds recognise that the iPad is a far more advanced piece of hardware. The reason some educated 'nerds' prefer Android is because they dislike Apple.
I've used both a Transformer Prime and an iPad 2 in stores (I bought neither), and the iPad was far and away the more responsive and nicer tablet to use.
There are hundreds of reviews which conclude the same thing. You say you're Asus Prime is 'as good'? Sorry, but no, it just isn't. It is worse in nearly every important metric. The only benefit is a marginally faster CPU which doesn't translate to any real world gain. Then there's the slower graphics, the battery life, the apps, the reliability. It's just not as good. And the sales figures reflect this.
It's not about 'snobbery' - it's logical people realising which devices are more capable than others. Then the people who bought the slower device, of course, go into a defensive rant about how it's the 'same'.
RE: Preempting Android fan responses
3/15/2012 5:13:51 AM
You're an absolute APPLETARD. Just Youtube any Transformer Prime video and you can clearly see it's just as fast as an iPad2.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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